​​​​Frequently Asked Questions

- Main Collective Agreement
- Hours of work in the Industry
- General Claim & Payment Questions
- Short time clause
- Annual Leave Payouts
- Sick & Absence Payouts
- Holiday Pay Bonuses
- Levy Payments
- Medical Certificates Q & A
- Disputes Resolution
- Wellness Services

Main Collective Agreement

Q: To whom does the Agreement apply?
A: The Agreement applies to:
  • Employees for whom minimum wages are prescribed and to the employers of such employees.
  • Other categories of employees, for whom minimum wages are not prescribed, but who qualify for the across the board increases in Schedule 5. Trade union subscriptions prescribed in clause 54 and expenses of the Council (levies) prescribed in clause 69.
  • Other categories of employees, for whom minimum wages are not prescribed and who do not qualify for the across the board increases in Schedule 5 only insofar trade union subscriptions prescribed in clause 54 are concerned.

Q: Has the scope of application of the Agreement been amended?
A: No, the scope has not been amended. It refers to the RSA where previously it referred to Magisterial Districts in the RSA.

Q: Were there any amendments to the Wellness Fund?
A: Yes. An employee’s contribution to the Fund has increased from 0,5% per week of his/her normal basic weekly wage to 1% as from 1 March 2013. The medical insurance will continue for the duration of the Agreement.

Q: Has the night shift allowance been amended?
A: Yes. The allowance will kick in after the completion of 1 hour. This means that should an employee works from 18h00 to 21h00 on a specific day he/she will received R16.51 for the period between 19h00 and 20h00 and a further R2.97 for every completed hour thereafter. 

Q: Have the wage schedules been amended?
A: Yes, new minimum wages came into operation as from 1 March 2023. Across the board increases in respect of employee employed before 1 March 2023 have also been published. The wage schedules may be viewed by clicking here.

Hours of work in the Industry

Q: What are the maximum weekly ordinary hours of work in the Industry?
A: 45 Hours per week made up as follows:
  • 9 Hours for employees who work a 5 day week.
  • 8 Hours for employees who work a 6 day week provided that an employee's ordinary hours of work may not exceed 5 hours on a Saturday.
  • Ordinary hours of work do not include meal intervals.

Q: What is the limitation of overtime work?
A: An employee may not work more than 6 hours on any day, except Saturdays or 30 hours in any week from Monday to Saturday. The maximum hours per day may further not exceed 15 hours.

General Claim & Payment Questions

Q: How must a claim be submitted and how will it be calculated?
A: A claim form has been designed and is available on the on-line system. Employers must complete the areas on the form as indicated and the system will do the calculations. Employers must also supply Council with proof (a payslip for example) that an employee has not been paid in respect of specific days during a specific month. Once the claim has been processed, Council will reimburse the employer.

Q: When may claims be submitted?
A: Claims may be submitted on a monthly basis.

Q: Give an example of how a claim should be calculated?
A: An employee earns R6000.00 pm. His or her regular contributions will be calculated as follows on condition that said employee has less than 5 years' service. (Only qualifies for 15 working days leave) R6000.00 pm ÷ 4.333 = R1384.72 pw.
Monthly contribution = R1384.72 X 25% = R346.18 pm
Said employee is on AWOL for 1 week and will thus not be paid for that specific week. How much will the employee actual wage be for that specific month?
R6000.00 - R1384.72 = R4615.28 (actual wage)
Now make the same calculation as above.
Actual wage R4615.28 ÷ 4.333 = R1065.15 pw
Monthly contribution = R1065.15 X 25% = R266.28
The employer may thus claim the difference between what have been paid if the employee had worked a full month and the same calculation based on actual wage received:
= R346.18 - R266.28
= R79.90

Q: How is tax treated on payments made by Council?
A: Council is not the employer and as a result may not tax any Fund payments to employees. The onus is on employers to tax contributions made, on behalf of their employees, to the various Funds. Click here for further information.

Q: Will my application be processed if I have outstanding invoices?
A: Yes, however employees’ pay outs will be incorrect/short paid therefore all outstanding invoices must be paid in order to ensure that employees are being paid their correct benefits.

Q: I received a reminder that my schedule is on block. Why?
A: The schedule has been blocked as a result of either outstanding monthly returns, rejected banking details or AWOL claims.

Q: Must an employer still deduct trade union subscriptions from the wages of employees who are members of a trade union that is a party to the Council?
A: Yes. Employers are still required to make the necessary deductions on a weekly/monthly basis.

Q: Must the monies so deducted be paid to the Council or to the trade union concerned?
A: The total amount deducted from the wages of party trade union members must be indicated on Council’s prescribed monthly return form and transmitted on Council’s on-line system, by not later than the 20th of each month following that to which it relates.

Q: Are there any amendments to the submission and payment of monthly returns?
A: Yes, from the date of promulgation all employers in the Industry are obliged to submit monthly returns on-line at www.nbcrf​ionline.org.za . You also MUST to submit your monthly returns in terms of the sick, leave, holiday bonus, levies, trade union subscriptions and wellness fund on or before the 20th of the month.

Q: Who do I pay my Provident Fund monthly submissions to?
A: As a result of the Provident Fund acquiring Sanlam as their front office service provider, Provident Fund monthly submissions are no longer accepted on the NBCRFLI E-Business online system. They need to be paid directly to Sanlam on or before the 20th of the month using their online system at www.rflipf-sanlam.co.za . Should you require any further information on the Provident Fund, please call the Provident Fund Call Centre number on 0861 735 473.

Short time clause

Q: Clause 64 in the Agreement that deals with short time. Please explain?
A: The short time clause only applies to employers and employees engaged in the furniture removal sector. The clause is not applicable to other employers and their employees in the Industry. Should the need arise for them (employers outside the furniture removal sector) to work short time they will have to apply for exemption.

Q: What does the short time clause provides for?
A: It defines short time as a temporary deduction of ordinary hours of work due to vagaries of the weather, slackness of trade, shortage of goods to be transported, breakdown of vehicles, plant or machinery and the breakdown or threatened breakdown of buildings.

Q: How will payment be effected should employees be placed on short time?
A: If the ordinary hours of work are reduced an employer may deduct an amount equal to the lesser of
  • an employee's hourly wage in respect of each hour of short time.
  • on third of an employee's weekly wage irrespective of the number of short time hours.

Annual Leave Payouts

Q: How many days annual leave must be granted to employees for whom minimum wages are prescribed?
A: Annual leave is based on the number of years of service with one employer in the Industry and are calculated as follows:
  • Less than 5 years continuous service 15 working days (21 consecutive days).
  • 5 Years continuous service but less than 10 years 17 working days (23 consecutive days).
  • 10 Years completed service and longer 20 working days (26 consecutive days).

Q: How will leave pay contributions be calculated?
A: Leave pay contributions will no longer be calculated on shifts but on the following basis:
  • Employees with less than 5 years continuous service 25% of the normal basic weekly wage.
  • Employees with 5 years continuous service but less than 10 years 28.34% of the normal basic weekly wage.
  • Employees with 10 years and longer continuous service 33.3% of the normal basic weekly wage.
Refer to Contributions & Levies

Q: When must leave pay contributions be paid to Council?
A: Leave pay contributions must be paid in respect of all employees, for whom minimum wages are prescribed, employed during a specific month irrespective of the number of days that an employee has worked during that specific month.

Q: How will leave pay contributions be calculated if an employee has, for example, not been paid one week's wages during a specific month as a result of AWOL?
A: The full contribution must be paid to the Council as if the said employee has worked and received his/her full wages during that specific month. No off-sets must be made on the monthly returns. Employers are, however, entitled to submit a claim against a portion of a contribution as a result of non-payment due to, for example, AWOL.

Q: An employee qualifies for 20 days annual leave. Council does not have monies covering the 20 days. Must the employer top-up the leave days?
A: The employer will have to top-up the leave days if the employee qualified for greater number of days during the present leave cycle. The reason being that contributions would have been made to Council on the previous annual leave qualification. No top-up is however necessary if there were AWOL (including national strike) claims by the employer against leave pay contributions during the leave cycle.

Sick & Absence Payouts

Q: Have the provisions of the sick and absence fund been simplified?
A: Yes. All employees for whom minimum wage are prescribed will qualify for 36 days paid sick leave in each cycle of 36 months. During the first six months of employment an employee will be granted 1 day's paid sick leave for every 26 days worked.

Q: Who will pay the employee whilst on sick leave?
A: Council will pay the employee on condition that he/she has funds to his/her credit within 48 hours after receipt of a valid sick application. If no fund credits are available, the employer has to pay his employee and may offset payments made to the employee against future sick and absence fund contributions during that specific leave cycle.

Q: When will sick pay not be paid to an employee?
A: No sick pay will be paid to an employee if he/she has been absent for more than 2 consecutive days or on more than 2 occasions during an 8 week period without producing a medical certificate.

Q: Will employees still qualify for sick leave bonuses?
A: Yes, on completion of 36 months (3 years) after commencing employment or from the date that the previous sick leave cycle expires.

Q: How will the sick leave bonuses be calculated?
A: The bonuses will be based on contributions received less sick leave paid to an employee during the preceding 3 year cycle. Refer to Contributions & Levies

Q: How are sick leave contributions calculated and when are contributions payable?
A: Contributions are calculated at 20% of an employee's weekly basic wage and are payable irrespective of the number of days that an employee has worked during a specific month. Refer to Contributions & Levies

Q: May an employer claim against contributions made if an employee was on AWOL during a specific month?
A: Yes on the same basis as set out under the leave pay questions and answers above.

Q: If an employee works a six day week, in other words from Monday to Saturday, and the employee cannot work on a specific Saturday due to ill health or injury, will he/she qualify for sick leave payment for that Saturday in question?
A: Yes. The Council will, on condition that it holds sufficient funds to the credit of the employee, pay the employee one full day’s wages. Employers must indicate on the application form that the employee ordinarily works on a Saturday.

Q: An employee works a five day week, in other words from Monday to Friday. The employer requests the employee to work overtime on a specific Saturday. The employee however could not report for duty on the said Saturday due to ill health or injury. Is the Council obliged to pay the employee any sick leave pay in respect of that Saturday?
A: No. The Council will not pay any sick leave pay to the employee in question as the employee does not ordinarily work on a Saturday.

Q: Does Council pay sick leave pay to incapacitated employees in advance?
A: No. The Main Collective Agreement provides that Council is obliged to pay sick leave claims within 48 hours after receipt of a valid sick leave claim. The Council’s interpretation of the word “valid” is that sick leave payments will not be made in advance, but only after sick leave has been taken by an employee. Payments should thus be made within 48 hours of the last day of sick leave, provided the employer has submitted an application.

Q: Give more information on family responsibility leave?
A: An employer must grant an employee, including a part-time employee, up to a maximum of five (5) working days leave per year on full pay in death or serious illness of an immediate family member.

Q: Describe the term "immediate family member"?
A: An immediate family member means an employee's spouse or life partner, child, adopted child, grandchild, parent, adoptive parent, grandparent, sibling or the biological or adoptive parent of an employee's spouse or life partner.

Q: What does the term "life partner" means?
A: "life partner" means a person who is a party to a heterosexual or homosexual relationship with the employee that is intended to be permanent, exclude any other person and involved cohabitation.

Holiday Pay Bonuses

Q: How must holiday pay bonus contributions be calculated?
A: It is calculated at 36.08% of an employer's normal basic weekly wage. Refer to Contributions & Levies

Q: Are the holiday pay bonus contributions still linked to shifts?
A: No, shifts are no longer being used to calculate holiday pay bonus contributions.

Q: Please can you explain the new shift system and how it affects my 13th cheque.
A: In the past, calculations of contributions to the Council’s Funds, including the Holiday Pay Bonus Fund (13th cheque), were based on the number of shifts (days) worked by an employee during a specific month. This has however changed. As from 16 January 2012, the shift system was abandoned.

Employees in the Industry are entitled to a 13th cheque equal to 4.33 weeks of annual basic earnings payable after 12 months continuous service with one employer. The 13th cheque will be paid directly to employees during December every year and will be prorated during the first year of service.

As from 16 January 2012, employers must contribute 36.08% of the normal weekly wage earned by an employee towards the Fund on a monthly basis. The contribution must be paid to the Council irrespective of the number of days that an employee has worked during a specific month.

Clause 24 (3) of the Main Collective Agreement however provides that an employer is entitled to submit a claim against a portion of contributions of an employee during any specific month as a result of the employee’s unauthorised absence (AWOL).

Q: Why can we not apply for schedule payments for holiday pay bonus as we pay our staff a 13th cheque greater than the Council amount?
A: The Agreement provides that the holiday pay bonus (13th cheque) be paid directly to employees during December every year. The obligation is thus on Council to pay bonuses directly to employees. If an employer pays his/her staff more than the Council amount, that payment may be reduced by the amount paid to a specific employee by Council.

Q: Why is the system only paying 14,33 days if I applied for 15 days?
A: Council can only pay out Fund contributions received. Short payments on contributions received may be as a result of the following:
  1. Employers calculate contributions on employees’ basic weekly wages. Usually wages in the Industry increase during March of each year. This has the effect that contributions may have been calculated on the previous as well as the present wages, thus the shortfall;
  2. Employers are entitled to claim against a portion of contributions during any specific month as a result of an employee’s unauthorised absence from work.

Levy Payments

Q: How are the Council levies calculated?
A: Employer pays 0,4% of each employee’s basic weekly wage for whom minimum wages are prescribed.
Employee pays 0,4% of basic weekly wage for whom minimum wages are prescribed. Refer to Contributions & Levies 

Q: Have the levies payable to Council been amended?
A: There is no change to the levies payable by employers and their employees for whom minimum wages are prescribed. It remains at 0.4% per week of an employee's normal basic weekly wage and a like amount by an employer.

Q: Will the extended bargaining unit employees also pay levies to the Council?
A: Employees not covered under grades 1 - 6 but who qualified for the across the board increases in Schedule 5 will pay levies to the Council and if they are members of trade unions that are party to the Council, employers must deduct trade union subscriptions and pay it over to the Council.

Q: Is 15% VAT still payable on Council levies?
A: No, as from 21 April 2013 no VAT is payable on Council levies.

Q: How do late or unpaid D-forms affect employees who are part of the Wellness Fund?
A: Non-payment of D-forms, or a failure to pay by the 20th of the month, results in employees not being covered by the Health Plan. They will only be covered for ARV treatment.

Medical Certificates Q & A

Q: Under what circumstances will the Council refuse to pay for my sick leave?
A: According to sub-clause 19 (8) of the Main Collective Agreement, the Council is not required to pay an employee occasional sick leave if he/she fails to produce a medical certificate stating that he/she was unable to work for the duration of that period of absence on account of sickness or injury.

Q: Who should I contact to acquire a legitimate medical certificate?
A: According to sub-clause 19 (9) of the Main Collective Agreement, a medical certificate must be issued and signed by a medical practitioner or any person who is certified to diagnose and treat patients and who is registered with a professional Council established by an Act of Parliament. In this regard, the onus is on employers and their employees to ensure that medical practitioners or any other persons are registered as provided for in this sub-clause.

Q: What are the minimum requirements a medical certificate must meet in order for it to be processed?
A: The name and address of the medical practitioner must be clear and legible;
The certificate must be signed by the said medical practitioner;
The practice number must be reflected on the certificate;
The period of illness/injury must be indicated; and
Certificates issued by hospitals must bear the said hospital’s official stamp.

Disputes Resolution

Q: What is a dispute?
A: A dispute is any matter over which employer and employee members legally challenge each other, such as unfair dismissals or unfair labour practices or a dispute about the application of the provisions of Council’s Collective Agreements.

It is important to note that the Council checks the following things before a unfair dismissal or unfair labour practice dispute is set down:
  • Is the correct citation of the party (legal name of the company, legal names of individuals) provided?
  • Are the terms of reference correctly cited?
  • Did the applicant sign the form?
  • Have the correct timeframes been adhered to?

If not, condonation applies. (If the applicant failed to comply with the timeframes provided for in the Act he/she may apply for condonation for the late referral.)

Q: What is conciliation?
A: Conciliation is a process whereby CCMA accredited commissioners who are selected for the NBCRFLI panel of commissioners, meet with the employer and employee parties in dispute, and explore ways to resolve the dispute. No legal representation is permitted in terms of the rules. This is a without prejudice and off the record process.

In order for the parties to reach an agreement, both parties need to be present at the conciliation hearing. If one of the parties fails to attend the conciliation hearing, the matter will remain unresolved and may then only be resolved by arbitration or the Labour Court, depending on the type of dispute.

Sometimes parties do not attend conciliation as they rather want an adjudicative (or arbitration) process. It is however important to note that arbitration is a far more stressful, time-consuming and expensive process.

Q: What are the benefits of attending the conciliation hearing?
  • It is far more beneficial for parties to resolve disputes at the lowest level of resolution. By attending the hearing, both parties are able to avoid the unnecessary costs involved in the arbitration process. These costs are due to the length of the process, the possible attendance of witnesses, the time that the parties need to take from work to attend the arbitration and the extra administration that is involved.
  • The conciliation process is private, confidential and without prejudice.
  • It is less time consuming than arbitration.
  • The conciliation hearing is a process where a CCMA accredited commissioner, selected by the NBCRFLI, meets with the parties in dispute, separately and/or together, and explores ways to settle the dispute by agreement.
  • The NBCRFLI has 18 offices countrywide, thereby making it more convenient for Council stakeholders to resolve their disputes through the conciliation process.

Q: How long does the conciliation and arbitration process take?
  • When a conciliation hearing is scheduled, it is done so within 30 days of referral. Most conciliation hearings normally take 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  • However, when a conciliation matter remains unresolved the party can refer the matter to arbitration. This is a 90-day process.
  • It is important to note that the conciliation and arbitration processes need to be heard within 120 days.

Q: What if I am not available on the date of the conciliation?
A: The matter remains unresolved.

Q: What if there is no agreement at the conciliation hearing?
A: If the parties cannot reach an agreement at conciliation level, the matter remains unresolved and the dispute can be referred for arbitration.

Q: How do I prepare for the conciliation hearing?
  • Document all the issues you wish to discuss.
  • All parties should be presentable and professional.
  • Be open-minded, courteous and willing to provide all the relevant facts. Being aggressive or stubborn will only make the process lengthier and more difficult to resolve.
  • Make sure you commit to the date and time of the hearing.

Q: What do I bring to the hearing?
  • Notice of set down given to you by the Council.
  • A note on the history of the event, detailing the facts of the event.
  • It is also important that you know your facts, why you are at the hearing and the result that you require.

Q: Who may represent me at the conciliation hearing?
A: An employee may appear in person at any proceedings before a commissioner or be represented by a member, official or office bearer of a registered trade union that the employee was a member of at the time the dispute arose.

An attorney or a consultant may not represent you at conciliation.

Q: What types of outcomes are there at conciliation hearings?
  • There may be a variety of outcomes, but usually they are as follows:
    • Resolved through a settlement or;
    • Unresolved, where the referring party has the opportunity to escalate the dispute to arbitration.
  • The types of conciliation settlements include: financial settlements and/or reinstatements.

Q: What is arbitration?
A: Arbitration is an escalation of the dispute resolution process in that it is lengthier and involves the use of a legal representative. It is essential that the involved parties attend the arbitration. Failure of both parties to attend will result in dismissal of the case.

Wellness Services

Q: What is the difference between Trucking Wellness and the Wellness Fund Health Plan?
A: The NBCRFLI Wellness Fund Health Plan is a health insurance plan which protects the well-being of employees within the Road Freight and Logistics Industry through numerous benefits, and is available to all active NBCRFLI members who are contributing to the Wellness Fund and meet the stipulated eligibility criteria. To view a list of these benefits, refer to the question “What benefits are eligible Council members entitled to through the Wellness Fund Health Plan?” below.

Trucking Wellness is a value-add health service offered by the Council to members of the Industry as well as those in surrounding communities, including sex workers. Over the years it has changed into providing a holistic approach to health and wellness, which encompasses a wide range of free primary health care services.

Q: Who funds the Trucking Wellness Programme?
A: Funding comes from monthly membership contributions as well as from organisations who partner with us due to our shared vision of fighting the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the Road Freight and Logistics Industry. The Programme is a sterling example of a successful and sustainable public-private partnership in that it is funded by the National Bargaining Council for the Road Freight and Logistics Industry together with various business partners. The South African Department of Health also provides some of the relevant medication.

Please note that companies are welcome to donate to the Trucking Wellness Programme. If you are interested in doing so, contact Famida Rahman, the Council’s General Manager: Funds and Wellness Administration on 011 703 7113 or via email on famida.rahman@nbcrfi.co.za.

Q: Who funds the Wellness Fund Health Plan?
A: Members, together with their employers, contribute towards the Wellness Fund on a monthly basis.

The Wellness Fund Health Plan (basic medical insurance) will only cover employees whose monthly contributions towards the Wellness Fund (together with the employers portion) is at least R 149.69 effective 01 March 2023. For more information please click here.

However, employees contributing less than the stipulated amount of contributions per month will only be entitled to:

a) STI diagnosis, treatment and education.
b) HIV awareness, counselling and testing.
c) Referrals to appropriate service providers for antiretroviral treatment and care.
d) TB awareness, screening and referrals for treatment and care.
e) Malaria awareness, screening and referrals for treatment and care.
f) Screening tests for blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and body mass index.
g) Diagnosis, treatment, care and support of any primary healthcare problems.

Please note that membership of the Wellness Fund Health Plan will lapse if monthly contributions are late or less than the prescribed R149.69 per month. Kindly be advised that a “top up option” is available for those members whose contributions are calculated at less than the required minimum, in order to be entitled to FULL benefits on the Wellness Fund Health Plan.

Q: What benefits are eligible Council members entitled to through the Wellness Fund Health Plan?
A: Members have access to the following:
  • Medical Society
  • GP Consultations
  • Telephonic Medical and Digital Consulting Hotline
  • Acute Medication and Nutraceuticals
  • Chronic Medication
  • Chronic Disease management
  • HIV Management Programme
  • Radiology and Pathology
  • Basic Dentistry
  • *Optometry Services
  • Emergency Medical Services, Health and Trauma Assistance and IER Mobile App
  • Hospital Care Plan
  • ​Post-Hospital Private Home Nursing
  • Hospital Accident Benefit
  • Hospital Assistance Benefit 

Q: What services are available through the Trucking Wellness programme?
A: The Trucking Wellness programme offers the following services:
  • Condom distribution.
  • STI diagnosing, treatment and education.
  • HIV awareness, information, education, counselling and testing.
  • Referrals to appropriate service providers for ART as well as HIV and AIDS treatment and care.
  • TB awareness, information, education, screening and referrals for treatment and care.
  • Malaria awareness, information, education, screening and referrals for treatment and care.
  • Screening tests for blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and body mass index.
  • Diagnosis, treatment, care and support of any primary care health problem or concern.

Q: What should I do if I a) haven’t received my new Affinity Health Plan card yet or b) have misplaced my card?
A: If you have not yet received a card, or have lost your card, contact Affinity Health on 0861 00 11 31 or at info@nbcrflihealth.co.za. You can also send a “please call me” to 079 409 1834 and Affinity Health will call you back.

Q: Is there a number I can call if I have queries related to the Health Plan?
A: Should you have any queries regarding membership or require a copy of the full product guide, you can contact Affinity Health on 0861 00 11 31 or at info@nbcrflihealth.co.za. You can also send a “please call me” to 079 409 1834 and Affinity Health will call you back.

Q: Who can I contact if I have any queries regarding Trucking Wellness?
A: For further information about Trucking Wellness, go to the website www.truckingwellness.co.za.

Q: I want to enrol for ART as well as HIV and AIDS treatment and care. Who do I contact?
A: Call Affinity on the toll-free call centre number on 0861 00 11 31 or 011 929 3146 during office hours. Alternatively send a "please call me" or "WhatsApp" at 079 409 1834.